Korean star Jun Ji-hyun (MySassy Girl, Windstruck) has beencast in the live-action version of Japanese animation house Production IG's Blood:The Last Vampire, which Bill Kong (CrouchingTiger, Hidden Dragon) is producingwith France's Pathe.
Kong reteams with directorRonny Yu after their hit Fearless,starring Jet Li, grossed over $65m worldwide. Kong also just finished producingZhang Yimou's latest film, Curse Of the Golden Flower.
Blood has a planned budget of $25.6m (Y3bn) and shootingwill commence in January. A worldwide release is slated for spring of 2008.Production I.G. will receive an undisclosed percentage of royalties onworldwide box office and DVD sales.
Jun Ji-hyun first came to attention in 1999's Il Mare (laterremade in Hollywood as The Lake House). She shot to stardom after starring in 2001's My Sassy Girl, which is currently being remade in the US withElisha Cuthbert and Jesse Bradford. Blood: The Last Vampire, which will be shot in English and a mix of otherlanguages, is her first non-Korean film.
In a reversal of the typicalfranchise development, it was director Hiroyuki Kitakubo's 48-minute animatedfeature released in 2000 that spawned the Blood games, manga, novels and a TV series. While theanimated film was set in 1960s Japan, Yu has moved the setting to 1948post-WWII Tokyo.
Production IG also createdthe animated sequences in Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill: Vol 1, while Mamoru Oshii's Innocence became the first Japanese animated film to competefor the Palme d'Or.